Omnichannel made easy: A practical guide to implementation
Keeping up with changes in consumer behavior can be a full-time job. The average customer today uses an estimated five connected devices to access voice, email, chat, social media and self-service to research and make purchases. In order to acquire, retain and delight these customers, it’s critical for brands to align their products, processes, and organizational culture to provide a consistent and frictionless customer experience by adopting an omnichannel strategy.
In the near future, providing an omnichannel customer experience will be an established consumer expectation. Companies that don’t make the transition will be left behind as this type of personalized, efficient and consistent customer service becomes increasingly prioritized, even overshadowing the product itself in many instances.While making the jump to omnichannel can initially seem daunting, a comprehensive strategy, a well-planned approach, and in many cases, a dedicated partner can support a thoughtful and successful implementation.
Everest Group, in partnership with TELUS International, recently released part two of their study on omnichannel customer experience that provides detailed steps and checklists to help companies execute an omnichannel strategy and identify and assess post-implementation effectiveness.
From Multichannel to Omnichannel Customer Experience
A checklist to help organizations assess their readiness to make the jump from multichannel to omnichannel CX.
Building blocks of success
As with any successful endeavor, you have to start building from the ground up to ensure you have a solid foundation. This includes taking a critical look at what tools, technologies, people and processes you currently have in place to determine the gaps you need to fill. Part one of the Everest Group report – From Multichannel to Omnichannel Customer Experience: A Checklist for Assessing Readiness to Make the Jump – provides an initial checklist for companies to follow in order to assess their organizational readiness and discusses the people and technology considerations of pursuing an omnichannel implementation.
Once you have an overview of where your company stands today in terms of omnichannel readiness, the next step is to build the following factors into your planning stages for implementation:
- Have a customer-focused approach
- Enlist the support of senior leaders
- Prepare the company for change
- Align your corporate culture with omnichannel imperatives
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it
As customer service strategies evolve into omnichannel strategies, companies should develop new approaches and key performance indicators (KPIs) that accurately measure value, and success. Although average handle time and call abandonment rates are still important, they are two-dimensional measures in a now three-dimensional space.
For example, a surge in call abandonment rate is a negative when viewed in isolation. But, when measuring all channels together and in context, you may discover that customers are finding ways to resolve their issue through another channel you offer (e.g. online self-service) while waiting on hold.
By capturing both big data (e.g. searches on your website) and small data (e.g. one-on-one conversations between agent and customer) from different channels and storing it in a central data repository, you can quickly identify channel-specific challenges and view individual metrics as part of a whole. Leveraged thoughtfully, these new metrics and data can identify trends in what your customers want, as well as when, where and how they want it.